I am a local Olympian who was born on 14th Ave and raised in Olympia, but my father took me to Korea for a year when I was 9 in 1997. After we returned he studied Education at St Martins for 3 years. After he graduated he took me on vacation in February 2001 to Oahu and on to Bangkok Thailand.
During the year before we went to Thailand, I fell in love with a 21 year old college student. She was a francophile, a lover of French culture. I was 12 and had never had any romantic relationship before. I would spend many late nights sneaking down to the living room and into her bedroom to converse with her, draw, read, and snuggle. At some point in time after several months, my father discovered that I was doing this and made it clear that he thought this to be wrong, but blamed her for the behavior, while I was a boy experiencing hormones for the first time. I must commend my father for not evicting her from the house despite his vehement distaste for our age difference.
To the point of the Nisqually earthquake. I left for Bangkok and I became separated from her, and the first week we were there I was given the opportunity to use the internet on the tourist block in the middle of the city, where we were staying. While I was sending an email to the woman I was infatuated with, in a hot cafe, my dad told me that there had been an earthquake of epic proportions in the very town I had been born in, at one of the very few times that I was not there! I learned that Earth Magic, a gem shop that I had spent many hours as a 6 year old “Ruler of the universe” had been severely damaged, among many other buildings. It was only months later when I came back that I realized how much damage had been caused, when they made plans to rebuild the 4th Ave bridge.
For about a month after we returned, I would spend many late nights sneaking across the damaged bridge to visit with my illicit lover who still lived on the west side, in a new house. While the Quake did not directly affect me, it brings many vivid memories to my consciousness.
By Petra Arcania